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    Early Warning Indicators for High School Graduation
    Posted on 03/20/2018

    A growing body of research nationwide shows that attendance and 9th grade course passing are critical early warning indicators of high school graduation. Our cohort analysis of students who were in 9th graders in 2012-13 supports this finding. We found that on-time graduation was influenced by:

    • Chronic Absenteeism: Only 33 percent of SPS students who were chronically absent in 9th grade graduated on time (compared to 74 percent of students who were not chronically absent)

    • Suspensions: 36 percent of students who were suspended in 9th grade graduated on time (compared to 68 percent of students who were not suspended)

    • Course Failures: 34 percent of students who failed a course in 9th grade graduated on time (compared to 75 percent of students who did not fail a course)

    4 Year Graduation Rates LInked to EWIs

    Across each of the three indicators, a higher percentage of Historically Underserved Students of Color (black, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander) have early warning indicators compared to white, Asian, and Multiracial students.

    Percent of Ninth Graders with an EWI by Race/Ethnicity

    The next steps for the research partnership include using predictive analytics to determine the strength of the relationships between the early warning indicators and high school and college going outcomes. In partnership with the College and Career Readiness Department, results from this research will be used to provide a set of recommendations for practitioners on how to use this data to improve graduation and college going rates, as well as support the SPS transition to the 24-credit graduation requirement. Efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism, discipline rates, and course failure in 9th grade could help improve the rates of on-time graduation, particularly for students of color.